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Food Assistance Builds Bridge Between Hunger And Hope As Millions Mark World Food Day

The World Food Programme (WFP) today marks World Food Day by highlighting the vital role that food assistance plays during humanitarian crises, supporting recovery in the immediate aftermath of disasters, and building the resilience that is necessary to ensure food security.

LUSAKA-- “Across the world, we are building the bridge between hunger and hope for millions of people,” said WFP Executive Director, Josette Sheeran. “WFP is providing life-saving food assistance in the midst of crises like the drought in the Horn of Africa.  In countries like Libya, we are supporting communities that are striving to recover from crisis, and in places like Haiti, we continue to work with governments and civil society to build resilience so that the vulnerable are better able to cope when the next disaster strikes.”
 
Relief, recovery and resilience are the three defining pillars of WFP’s work in more than 70 countries around the world, where we are bringing the most effective and appropriate food assistance to close to 100 million people this year.
 
“Here in Zambia, WFP focuses on long term hunger solutions rather emergency operations,” said WFP Zambia Officer-in-Charge Felix Edwards.  “We have transitioned from a food aid to a food assistance agency and use these long term solutions to catalyse development, enabling the building of household food security, the development of the agricultural sector, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals,” he says. 

“Our Home Grown School Feeding programme is not only providing a hot, nutritious meal to almost one million school children in 2011, but at the same time also supporting Zambia’s smallholder agriculture and dairy sectors by purchasing locally grown commodities. In order to increase benefits on both sides of the demand-supply chain, we connect the local market with our education, health and food safety net interventions,” he says.    

For more information on the WFP’s work in Zambia, visit our dedicated country page: http://www.wfp.org/zambia
 
This year’s theme for World Food Day, “Food Prices – from Crisis to Stability”, underlines the role that food assistance can play in protecting vulnerable communities that are affected by food price volatility.
 
WFP is deploying an increasingly sophisticated array of innovative tools to address the needs of people who are struggling to access the nutrition they need for their families on a daily basis – including those in many developing countries who have borne the brunt of the turbulence on global food markets.
 
• NUTRITION – Working with governments and the private sector, WFP is building the capacity in developing countries to produce home-grown solutions to hunger, such as the highly nutritious supplementary food products for children that we are helping to produce in Pakistan, and planning to produce in Ethiopia.
 
• CASH OR VOUCHERS – When the biggest challenge is access to food, rather than availability, WFP is increasingly deploying innovative tools such as e-vouchers, or cash to help families who are unable to afford the food that is sold in their shops and markets.
 
• SUPPORTING SMALL FARMERS – Food security in developing countries can be strengthened by empowering smallholder farmers. WFP’s Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative is a pilot programme in 21 countries that is providing farmers with the expertise to improve the quality and size of their yields, and better connect them to markets.